SAN DIEGO — Two San Diego County lawmakers have requested the State of California to perform an audit looking into recent rate increases from San Diego Gas & Electric.
Assemblymembers Tasha Boerner Horvath (D-Encinitas) and Brian Maienschein (D-San Diego) say they both received calls from constituents inquiring about their rising bills from SDG&E.
“’How am I going to keep the lights on, do I keep the lights on or do I put food on my table,’ these are not the tradeoffs San Diegans should be making,” said Boerner Horvath, who added that her own bill increased $120 one month.
They have both requested the audit, which has so far been met with full bipartisan support.
“San Diego will have some answers as to why their bill is as high as it is,” Maienschein said. “And why there was really insufficient notice to people so they could prepare.”
Horvath questioned why California Public Utilities Commission didn’t see that San Diego already had the highest rate in the country,
“What facts were put forth by SDG&E to justify these rate hikes,” Horvath said when discussing what the audit could find.
Once the audit is completed, there will be an evaluation of what they found and recommendations will be provided to agencies, which could lead to the drafting of new legislations.
“I was very grateful that SDG&E welcomed the audit,” Horvath said. “I don’t think it’s malfeasance by the utilities. I think there’s lots of bureaucratic steps that come to this outcome, so let’s go back and retrace.”
Meanwhile, SDG&E responded in a statement to FOX 5.
“We welcome a discussion with the audit committee on how we can collaborate to address energy affordability including rate reform legislation the company proposed earlier this year. While the California Public Utilities Commission conducts a thorough review and ultimately approves the rates customers pay for the services they receive from SDG&E, we must work together prioritize customers, energy affordability and grid reliability as California aims to reach carbon neutrality by 2045.”
The audit request will head to a committee for final approval, but Maienschein said he fully expects it to get approved, and maybe even expedited because of the nature of the audit. The audit is expected to take 3,000 hours over the course of seven months.
San Diego currently has the second highest-priced electricity in the nation. In April, it was the highest, surpassing Los Angeles, Riverside, San Francisco, Seattle and Hawaii. In May, rates were passed by Hawaii.
Rates of Electricity per KWH in San Diego-Carlsbad, California